tv Former Directors of National CSPAN August 10, 2013 5:25pm-6:31pm EDT
department of your of defense not seen since the wall fell in 1989 in terms of the need for us to do things differently. we do understand that. we understand people want us to spend less money. more importantly, they want us to spend it better and smarter. we understand that. we also understand the country needs us to shift our attention away from iraq and afghanistan and the first counter-terrorism decade. the next decade will be different from the first decade in many ways. >> let me pull on one string of the willhave described have general alexander later. way, one of the big
new initiatives you have put in place with him are what he described to congress recently as 40 new cyber team is working under cyber command, which is the military side of his job. he said 27 of them more for defense. 13 were for office. -- he said 27 of them were for defense. 13 were for office. this comes before we even have a general discussion about whether you want the department of defense in the business of cyber office. cybers about what these teams are supposed to do, what their mission is, how much all of this costs, whether it is expensive or inexpensive compared to the other things you are doing, and how you get the conversation going on offense of cyber. >> very important. i divide the mission of cyber of in the department of defense
into three pieces. the first and most important piece for us is to defend our own networks, the integrity of our own networks, because everything we do depends upon the use of information systems, including ones connected to the internet. 10 years ago, he would not have seen it except at a command level command post. now you go to a company command post. it consists of eight or 10 screens. they are all check in with other units around them. they are getting satellite feeds. they are getting intelligence product. they're getting information from other units. we depend on that everywhere in the world.
if we lose that, we think about what would do in that instance. we think about operating through the loss of connectivity, but is not good if it happens. job one is protecting the integrity of our networks. enters snowden and we can get to that in a little bit. the next thing is to deploy in the preparation for our own to nullifyilities the cyber advantage on the part of others. you are right. that is something worth talking about. i will tell you some of the tricky issues associated with that. the new field of warfare, obviously we want to do things in a way that is lawful and our population can support and is consistent with our values.
the tricky things that come into -- ourur privacy privacy. sure things like, are you a particular action you take with an enemy's information system will only have the consequence of disrupting an air defense system? have water consequences? you have to understand the consequences of your actions. the authorities to do this, these things are serious enough to reserve for the president. we have bought these through. we are thinking them through. it is fair game for a wider conversation. the third thing we do is play our role in defending the nation's networks. i say our role in because we do
not have the lead. we support law enforcement and homeland security. we tried to support them. our principal source of support is the national security agency. we manage. that is a capability i am responsible for on behalf of all of these other agencies of government that use it. >> is that where the 40 teams come in? >> the 40 teams are new and in addition to the existing cyber work force which is mostly cybered towards intelligence collection. we are trying to create another also associated with nsa whose mission is
defense, the development of capabilities for the u.s. military, and played an important role in defense of the nation. the defense of the nation's many of youwhich participate in is very important. government can and needs to help. another thing that has to happen is many of the civil networks are so poorly protected that it is very difficult for us to claim we can come to their aid. they need to be protected themselves first. that gets too much bigger problem in our society. ist is that cyber security under-invested in. there is a market failure in the cyber-security field. those of you who have markets --
products to market, it is a hard slog. a lot of people do not want to spend a lot of money and acknowledge they have a problem. a lot of our critical businesses are more global than they should be. what should happen is they should take the steps to harden themselves. that is more important than us rendering a, which we are prepared to do as we defend the rest of the country. >> of these 40 teams, give us a sense of the size. it sounds closest to the model of special operations. you have a highly trained group. thousands ofking people? we have thousands spread among the teens. i am starting that way because we're drawing people in from the services we already have.
it, like special operations people, are hard to find and grow. it requires a lot of talent, a considerable amount of experience. when we havedo high skill areas, we have to worry about how long we can keep them before they go off to companies and so forth. we are starting his ways because -- this way because i want to start fast. we are taking the people we have an slowly growing the new people we need. that is the management strategy. we're starting off with these three teams. we will rule of that change our approach. i may take a different approach down the road and do things more like the model. but we are not starting there yet because we need to get
started. we have got to get going. you mentioned money. this is not expensive. this is not a money problem for me. this is a management problem. it does not cost a lot. we're spending everything we can think about spending intelligently notwithstanding our budget hassles because this is an area we're protecting even as another the other military capabilities will be cut. >> let's turn to sequester. a year ago, you and i were talking about sequester. you said two things. first, i do not think it will happen. second, i do not want to plan for it happening because if the word gets out that you are planning for it, you are making it easier for it to happen. i think you added to it, i cannot believe we would ever do anything quite this done. what has happened a year later?
>> that part is right. i could not believe you would do something that down. the second part is not so right. of course we planned. it turned out to be easier than you might think to plan for sequester because sequester, by its nature, gives you very little choice. -- you have toer cut here and here by this much. there is less planning to it than there might be if you were just told to take the cut and do what ever you want, which i would dearly love, but we do not have that kind of flexibility. ready. but the second thing is i did not take action until it became clear the budget deal collapsed at the end of the year.
dot is because the things we under sequester are harmful. i was not going to do anything until ito our defense think clear -- i do not any man or woman would have thought we would topple off of this cliff. and did not want to do harmful things until january 1. we were ready, but we did not begin taking management action until the deal collapsed because the actions we're taking are so harmful. why is sol you difficult to deal with. we are doing our very best everyday to do the best we can buy our defense, given the circumstances. we are trying very hard to get through this and get a sensible
result. let me tell you why things work out so badly. our budget has three pieces. it has people, an operating budget, and investment. let's start with the people. i have got to take money out of those three pots. i cannot take money out of iople just like that because can in voluntary separate -- in voluntarily separate people in uniform. but it turns out it costs me almost as much to put them on the path to involuntary separations over the path of the year as it does to just pay them. you do not save much money in the process. what a company might do it faced with a budget cut is to dramatically said people. that is not something we are able to do. because it falls into
the other parts. the operations and investments. what do we do there? in operations, have to take the war off the table. i cannot short of people at war in afghanistan. i cannot short nuclear be andnce we cannot ready as a nuclear force. airplane needsl to keep flying and so forth. there are certain things you take off of the table. the bill gets squeezed into the rest. the happens as a result is in that not spread out all over the entire defense budget but in just a few areas. the two areas that are most painful our training, readiness
, and our civilian people getting furloughed, a terrible thing to do to them. let me take the first one. training and readiness. let's take an air base. at an airbase, the air bases are open. they have guards at the gate. they have people in the tower. they have people in the fire truck. the lights are on. we're spending the money for all that. where can you stop spending money quickly? painting the buildings. mobil on less often. that kind of thing. important, you stop trading. when you stop training, he stopped readiness. -- you have stopped readiness. we are protecting those in as we know are going to afghanistan and would be in a fight tonight on the korean peninsula if god forbid we ever had a wart on the korean peninsula. we're trying to produce -- protect the unit's most likely
to find themselves in combat. for the others, we cannot afford to train them. that is risky because if something happens, those units will not be fully ready. then we get to the civilian personnel part of a week ago, furloughs began for many of our civilians. washington, but our civilians live all over the country. aty are not people that work desks in washington. they're people that fix airplanes and other essentials things. these folks have had their pay frozen for three years. they have had a hiring freeze. now we're taking 1/5 of their paycheck in the last quarter of the year. it is causing many to have to change their family plans and not do things they had hoped to do for the kids. it is a miserable way to treat people. i talk to audiences of civilians.
i say, i do not know why you put up with us. except i do know. they are there for the mission. they care about defending the country. otherwise, they would tell us to go to hell and leave. but they care and are dedicated. they do not deserve this kind of treatment. these are the things that happen as a result of cuts that are very steep and fast. to taked more time cuts like the cuts we've already taken, we approach it strategically. we say there are things we do not need any more. we can phase this out. what kinds of capabilities do not need any more? we get rid of the old and start buying the new, like cyber. that is the sensible way to do things. the sequestered thing in the short term frustrates us. >> if you have said six months ago a betting person would not think this would happen, if you
were to put money on the table , you probably have to bet that the sequestered will get extended. >> i am afraid you are right. the newhas become normal for you. how does that change the nature of the plan? >> you are right. we're taking very seriously the prospect that this craziness is going to continue into the next year. that is the path of least resistance in the political system. if a big deal cannot be put together by the congress that can be approved by both houses that the president can sign, then we will drift into next year with some continuation of what we have had this year. our responsibility is to be prepared for that even to quality as we try to be prepared for others. looking forward, you asked if this could go on. we started about four months
ago, an effort to be prepared for exactly that. haspresident's budget further cuts for us to meet the objective of deficit reduction. but they phased in gradually. from a management point of view, that is the sensible way to do things. i can shed people over time, i just cannot do it in one year. that, we can handle. i do not know that the president's budget will be approved. it is to live. you do not see a lot of forward motion. -- it is july. you do not see a lot of forward motion. we're looking at the possibility this does become the new normal and our budget stays low. we are preparing for that. we're going to do our level best to make this strategic
transition which is the paramount thing. get rid of the things we do not need. it new things. treat our people as decently as we can recognizing we will have to shed people. perhaps i did not make it in until late last night. from the discussion yesterday, one reason you might not do in no-fly zone around syria is because you could not afford it under these circumstances. >> we would need supplemental funding, which is normal for a new contingency. this is a consummate where you add money to the defense department when you have a new need, which is a sensible thing to do. there is no reason for us to have that money if we are not the units. using
the example i give people is hurricanes. we have a bad hurricane about once every three years. money to give us the be ready for hurricanes every year, but then we would waste it two out of 3. what is sensible is you do not give us the money all the time and you give us extra money when something extra needs to be done. that is the concept we have applied to the wars in iraq and afghanistan, to readiness in the persian gulf, operations in the one of africa, and so forth. it makes perfect sense when you have new, temporary things that cost money. >> let me ask you to briefly put on your political science have -- hat. something has changed in the political culture.
hawhe post/911 years, the ks always outvoted the budget cutters in congress. when i was the white house correspondent, you would frequently hear president bush say, i will give my generals whatever they say they need. notmight argue that is necessarily a position the commander in chief should take, but you heard the line very often. own party and to some degree in years, what you are budget cuts in first and defense second. is this just a function of how many years have gone since 911 -- 9/11? what has changed in this debate? >> a couple of things. it is very noticeable. centeras always a solid
of the opinion that supported defense that you could count on. much less so now. >> in both parties. >> there are a few reasons for that. one is the one you mentioned, which is we have a competing party, which is fiscal discipline for the country. unfortunately, the part of government spending that has been most politically easy to get to has been discretionary spending. of course, there are revenues and entitlements also. those are three parts of the federal budget. much harder from a political point of view to get to the second two. a lot of the cutting has fallen discretionary expenditures that pay for defense, homeland
security, and all of the other agencies of the federal government. that is one thing. the other thing is time has passed since 9/11. people are tired of the two wars. they are tired of afghanistan and iraq. you do not see afghanistan in the headlines as it used to be. do, it isn you usually about the pace at which we are leaving. >> then there is the last thing that is particularly true for the counter-terrorism effort. way, the better we are, the less people will notice what we are doing. disspirited byt the fact people do not seem to pay enough attention and care enough about defense and security, i consoled myself with the thought that if we're doing our job well, people get up in
the morning and go to work and take their kids to school. they live their lives and in their dreams without having to worry about physical security. what a gift that is. looking around the world. a lot of people do not have that. security is like oxygen. if you have it, you do not think about it. if you do not have it, it is all you can think about. we would like to be in the former circumstance. that is kind of a paradox. it is very important in the counter-terrorism effort, of which we are a part. is an important mission of the defense department. is the balance of getting enough public support to do what needs to be done but not scaring people. the president said something written to me in a speech he gave on counter-terrorism a few months ago. point, we now at this
after a decade of fighting and learning what we have learned, we can proceed not on the basis of fear but harder wisdom. .e have hard-earned wisdom we have gotten better. that is the foundation on which we build now. >> you briefly mentioned mr. snowden and before. after wikileaks, i was involved in some of "the times" coverage. we were asking a lot of people the question, how can you download 250,000 documents from the state department? my recollection is your old boss, bob gates, asked that question publicly and privately vividly. then mr. snowden comes along. it was not 250,000 documents, but it was documents at a higher level of sensitivity.
happened,at you think why it was able to happen. you mentioned before the importance of defending your own networks. tell us how you are changing or plan to change your practices going forward. making -- maybe make an assessment of how much damage was done. >> we are assessing the damage. i will tell you the damage is substantial. there is a criminal investigation involved. i cannot talk about that. the issue gets back to what i said about job one needing to be defending our own networks. this is a failure to defend our own network. this is not an outsider hacking in. this was an insider. --rybody who has networks no knows the insider threat is an enormous one. this failure originated from two practices that we need to reverse.
in an effort for those in the intelligence community to be able to share information, there was an enormous amount of information concentrated in one place. that is a mistake. we normally compartmentalize information for a good reason so one person cannot compromise a lot. loading everything onto a server by people cleared in their own securityt creates a risk of the compartmentalization -- de from criminalization. e compartment alyssum. it is something we cannot do because it creates too much
information in one place. the second thing is you have an individual that was given to accessl authority that information and move that information. that should not be the case are there. we are acting to reverse both of those things. it is clear those are the to the root causes of this. what do you have to do about it? you have to compartmentalize more rigidly. systemve to have a like what we have for handling nuclear weapons. we have no lodestones, the two- man rule. you will see a red line and if you cross the can get shot. there are areas where you are not to be. the proximate the two nuclear weapons is to momentous -- too
moment is a thing to be allowed for individuals. there is always some aberrant individual somewhere and you have to recognize that fact. when it comes to nuclear weapons, we watched behavior in a special way. we do not let people all by themselves do anything. nobody ever touches a nuclear weapon by himself or herself. there are always two people greeted in the same specialty so everybody can see and understand what is being done to the weapon. it has been that way for decades. here we have a case where a single person at one installation in the intelligence community could have access to and move that much information. both of those pieces are a mistake and have to be corrected. >> you mentioned nuclear weapons. your old specialty before you had to go into the world of budget cutting. president obama announced about
step heago the next big envisioned come which was bringing the american arsenal down to just above 1000 nuclear weapons. but he added to that it could only be done in concert with the russians and getting similar cuts. almost the next day, we heard president putin. will reject this approach. , whatour study of this would be the risk of doing this unilaterally? if you are not going to get russian agreement to this, with the united states be significantly less safe with nearly 1000 weapons against the current russian arsenal? how do you deal with the russian concern of the hour non-nuclear weapons would increase in
precision? >> a good question. several things. you are right. the president did say we are prepared to make further reductions below the new level in our nuclear arsenal, but he had the intention of seeking tandem parallel or in with russia. you are right, putin said the thatans have some concerns would need to be addressed in the course of the negotiation. i will get back to what they are. i think the fundamental point is we are not going to attack ourselves with our own nuclear weapons. to dolue of reducing them what we're after is protection. value in reductions.
the goal was to get russia reductions. iran,al, more widely, north korea, stop proliferation, get people to control materials more closely -- that is what we want. because those weapons and materials might be used against us. if our own reductions and being prepared for our own reductions can be a catalyst for nuclear security and more broadly, that is a good thing. that is what the president wants. you miss the opportunity if you just do-it-yourself. we will not attack ourselves. save you to the commission another 1/3 of the nuclear force? quickly may be surprised to learn nuclear weapons do not cost that much. -- >> we may be surprised to learn nuclear-weapons do not cost that much.
our annual spending for nuclear delivery systems is about $12 and coming down. $4 billion for the command and control system that goes with the nuclear weapons, the radar, the warning, the special communications to make sure the president can retaliate under any circumstances, especially if we are attacked first, and all of that. $16 takes you up to about billion. it is not a big swinger of the budget. you do not save a lot of money by having arms control. the reason you do it is because these are the most awesome and terrible intentions of humankind. i am a physicist, as you mentioned. physicists always felt there was some responsibility that went with having created this
technology. they are part of our arsenal that in -- that deserves our most careful treatment and responsibility, but they are not the answer to our budget problem. they are not that expensive. >> one more question and then we will go to the audience. at the beginning, we talked about afghanistan. he said you have to stay focused on it because we are still there. we know there is increasing debate in the administration about what some call the zero option. at the end of 2014, could you pull out everyone? there are down sides. one reason for keeping forces there is not only for afghanistan but to have forces in place in case pakistan went bad. tell us where this debate stands. is the zero option a real option in your mind?
is it more of a negotiating position? we did it in iraq. could you a imagine a situation where we do it in afghanistan? >> let me answer your question by backing up for a moment on afghanistan. the plan laid out in chicago a year and a half or so ago was that we were going to wind down our presence in afghanistan. that is, the coalition would. as the afghan force got stronger. the idea being that as we went down, they would come up in such a way that the sum of our power and afghan power would be greater than the enemy's power.
that is the path we are on. we are winding down at the same time that the afghan forces are winding up. the afghan forces are upwards of 300,000 now and are not just vanilla infantrymen. they are beginning to get more and more capability over time. essentially all of the missions in afghanistan are led by afghans. objective, that we wind down and afghanistan eventually becomes capable all by itself of defending itself. for some time,en which is the reason to do it gradually. the question you are raising is a good one. the president hasn't made a decision about how exactly to wind down and where to. part of the reason is, that depends on what afghanistan
does. its forces build up so it can compensate, number one. if we are going to have forces there, we have to have an so-ement that covers them. called bilateral security agreement, which has not been completed yet, and which we have to have in order to stay. , and i've been at this for four and a half years, and i've been involved in every little detail there, is to say that from the purely military standpoint of you, having the -- view, having the capability to maintain the afghan state and a level of peace, that is within reach. that's a hard-earned thing. wounded.icans died,
i think it is in reach, but depends on some other things. it depends on afghanistan, pakistan. there are other variables here. from a peer live military point of view, it is within reach -- purely military point of view, it is within reach. i have spent a fair amount of time there, working on the problems and issues. you have to, because your heart has to be in it, because our people were there. we could, ifthat we couldn't get that bilateral agreement, we might be able to [indiscernible] ? >> we have said that we need the bilateral security agreement. not having the biological security agreement and having a that a goodis thing?
no, it will disrupt the ability to achieve this result within reach. that is not entirely within the president's purview. as aed afghanistan partner. we need our coalition partners. ,let's go out to the audience and ask you to ask your questions. we will start with jane. there is a microphone coming to you, jane. >> thank you for sharing your enormous talent with our country. first, a correction to david. mark wells, chief of staff of the air force, did not say last night that we could not do the mission if asked. he said, with less resources, he
would have to figure out how to get it done with less, but he would get it done. ash, congress is incapable of doing big things these days. but it can do small things. why isn't it at least a congressy easy to ask to give you the authority to apportion the cuts where you need to apportion them? sequester continues forever, which it may, if you had that authority -- mark walsh said it -- you could live with that, and build a smaller dod, but you could build it intelligently. if you agree with that, why isn't a huge effort being made by the administration to build a coalition in congress to change the sequester just in that way? >> it's a good question. it's nice to see you here.
this is somebody who knows all about this stuff here. great to see you, jane. with respect to the question of flexibility, what we really need is time. that's what we really need. i will give you an example of why. i talked about people. over time, we can reduce the force. but we can't do it quickly. it's not feasible for us to do it. if you take a service member and involuntarily separate him or her, they go through a process .hat takes time and money they're entitled to things in the course of that very few can't just snap your fingers and reduce the size of the force -- course. you can't just snap your fingers and reduce the size of the force. we really need the time to do this strategically and
intelligently. year, nextanother year, like this year, where you suddenly have to take a large amount of money out leads to the twisted results that you see associated with sequester in the first year. what we really need is time. if there were a budget deal of the kind -- there are other possibilities out there -- of the kind that the president has , butout, which is cuts they phase in overtime -- i realize nobody has agreed to the president's plan. i'm just saying, something like that that comes in overtime. that's the flexibility we need to do this strategically and intelligently. 2014 -- ihit again in
can tell you, we are getting ready for it -- we will be prepared. not what you ought to expect. it's not a good way to spend the taxpayer's money. it's too many perverse consequences of doing things this way. >> at hand right there. -- a hand right there. >> thank you very much. >> i want to add one other thing to what jane said. what we have to do, jane, in a year of execution to get money out when it is an unplanned cut is, you have to go where the money is. i have to go where the money is. in that sense, flexibility to move money does not help me that much because i have to go where the money is.
i cannot go to the war in afghanistan, because i can't have people over there and stop sending them fuel and food. i cannot cut the nuclear deterrent. i cannot cut the president's airplane. i have to go where the money is. that is what is perverse about it. whether i havee to move things around or not. but we really need is time to do things strategically. ,> steve shapiro from new york representing business executives for national security. if one moves one's strategic forces to a theater or increases capital production with respect to those forces, typically one's adversaries are aware of that. what is the advantage to publicly announcing a shift or pivot to the asian theater went far, the only so
visible results have been jitters in europe and the mideast and bellicose response in asia? why not just do it, and keep quiet about it? >> okay. you have two parts of that. one is talking and not doing. the other is, there is no value in talking. we are doing. forces.oving equipment, where moving money around in our -- we are moving money around in our investments to invest in things that are especially useful for that theater. there will be more u.s. forces in the asia-pacific theater for years to come than there have been in years. why? they have been in iraq and afghanistan. there is more happening there.
why are we there in the first place? theater is onec in which that has enjoyed peace basically for decades now. it has done that, even as the world's wounds of world war ii never healed. there is no nato. there is no structure there. the critical factor that has kept peace and stability in east asia for decades has been the american military presence there. first, what allowed japan, to rise and prosper. and then south korea. and then southeast asia. today, china and india. and that is fine. that has been welcomed by the united states.
it is economically welcomed by the united states, but it has a critical ingredient. that peace and stability has militarypivotal presence in the region and our alliances that anchor that. that is a good thing, and we want to keep that going. it is about that role that we play in east asia, where animosities run deep, people argue over rocks in the ocean, the wounds of world war ii and the earlier part of the last century have never healed. we would like to continue to play are stabilizing role there. anyone.not aimed at it is not picking a fight with anyone. it is not a concept of deterrence or anything like that. it is to continue to play that stabilizing role. we have not been able to play that to the extent we had in previous decades over the last decade, because we have been so involved in a rack and afghanistan. andant to get back -- iraq
afghanistan. we want to get back to that role. it's important for people to --erstand why we're doing it what we're doing. it is important that we keep our alliances strong, and that we are not trying to militarize any situation there. we would like what has happened in decades past to keep going. democracy and prosperity has been spreading. a huge amount of economic and political development, without any conflict at all. it might very well have been accompanied by conflict if it were not for the american role. that is why we're doing it, and that is why we're saying what what we are doing so that nobody gets the wrong idea, but they do get the right idea of why we're doing it. >> we have a couple of minutes
left, and we cannot go over our time. us on a plane, and send us back. we will take to questions. take the two questions, and then you can pick which ones you answer -- one you answer. >> kim dozier. you mentioned the cyber offense and defense teams are almost ready to go. weeks or months before they are operational? and you mentioned two things you want to see changed to keep more snowden leaks from happening in the future. how fast can you bring that about? >> one question over there. >> maurice. thank you for leaving the wars in academia and coming back to the government. i would like you to talk about andrsaries, meaning china
the others, in terms of their expenditures and what it means in terms of the advantages they will accrue in the future. for example, you mentioned nuclear at one point. 50% may be is obsolete. talk about that. >> two good questions. first of all, soon and now. soon for the cyber force. existeds of these have in the services anyway. we are trying to reach out and get people who already have that skill set and bring them together. >> and they report straight up to general alexander? >> exactly. the second part is, when are we taking countermeasures in terms of snowden? now.
maurice knows a lot about this. he's done a lot of work on behalf of intelligence of the united states, which is much appreciated. you are right. the international perception of sequester and our budget drama, i worry about a great deal. this is something that makes us look like we are in feeling -- enfeebling ourselves. it is hardens our partners and friends and allies -- disheartens our parent -- partners and friends and allies. it could embolden those who would commit aggression. >> who do you have in mind? >> the usual suspects. [laughter] it is important that we put it in context.
this is an unfortunate thing we're doing to ourselves. on the other hand, we are trying to do our best to through. if we have a little time, or after we have had a little time to adjust, we will be fine. this is not a cataclysm for american defense. this is not a wholesale retreat from our alliances and military capabilities. nobody should get that impression. it's not a good way to run things. it's not a good way to spend the taxpayers' money. andill get through this, keep our eye on what our priorities are. we will eventually make it through this strategic transition which we have to make. it will be slower, less graceful. we will do it anyway. nobody should have thought about that. both things are true. it's a bad thing to be doing to ourselves. foreign counterparts aside, what is going on? -- have said, what
is going on? it is hard to explain. it is important that we remain very strong indeed. as we turn the investments we have been making in iraq and things,tan to other they will see them showing up in the cyber area, electronic work they and many other areas will see in areas they will not see. it is important that as it is across -- message gets across. >> thank you very much, mike. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> they looked at the future of pentagon and its operations. watch all the segments from the event at our video library at www.c-span.org. president obama traveled to orlando, florida to deliver remarks at the zits -- disabled
american veterans. newpresident announced initiatives for mental health research, and commitments from over 200 community colleges to help veterans are degrees. another issue the veteran -- president spoke about was the backlog of disability claims for veterans. here is a clip of the president speaking on the issue. [video clip] >> we have to attack this claims backlog. the last time i was with you, i pledged to cut the backlog,/those wait times, deliver your benefits sooner. those wait times, deliver your benefits sooner. it is not moved as fast as i wanted it. part of it is all the new veterans in the system. people who came in. it meant a lot more claims. resources, itonal
has resulted in longer waits. that has been i -- unacceptable. unacceptable to me, and secretary chin seki. more of our claims folks to work as claims processors. we hired more claims processors. working overtime, completing more than a million claims a year. we prioritize the older claims. veterans groups have pledged in as well. i can report that we are not where we need to be, but we are making progress. we are making progress. after years, when the backlog kept growing. finally, the backlog is shrinking. in the last five months, it is down nearly 20%. we're not going to to let up until we eliminate the backlog once and for all. we will keep moving ahead with
paperless systems so the backlog does not come back, and so your the first time, on time. after years of military service, you should not have to wait for years for the benefits you have earned. we bring public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, and conferences. complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house. all as a service of private industry. he c-span, created by the cable industry 34 years ago and funded by local cable or satellite provider. you can watch us in hd. >> president obama outlines his plans to boost the housing market, and help the middle class in his weekly address. south carolina senator tim scott gives the republican address. he discusses offshore energy
production and job creation. for the past few weeks, i have been visiting folks across america to talk about what we need to do as a country to secure better bargains for the middle class. i have been laying out my ideas about how we can build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in america. a good job, education, affordable health care when get sick. secure retirement, even if you are not rich, the chance to own your own home. i went to arizona and california, two of the states hit hardest when the housing bubble burst. country, millions of responsible americans were hurt badly by the reckless actions of others. construction workers were laid off. many families lost their homes. over the past four years, we have worked to help millions of responsible homeowners get back on their feet. we are not where we need to be yet, but our housing market is
beginning to heal. housing prices and sales are rising. construction is up and foreclosures are down. millions of families have come up for air, because they are no longer underwater on their mortgages. thise have to build on progress. congress should give every american the chance to refinance at today's low rates. we should help more qualified families get a mortgage and buy their first home. we should get construction workers back on the job, rebuilding communities hit hardest by the crisis. we should make sure that folks who don't want to buy a home have a decent, affordable place to rent. as home prices rise, we have to turn the page on the bubble and burst mentality that created this mess, and build a housing system that is rocksolid and rewards responsibility. down thes winding companies known as fannie mae and freddie mac, making sure private capital plays a bigger , andin the mortgage market ending the era of expecting a
bailout after your pursuit of profit puts the whole country at risk. we need to preserve access to safe and civil mortgages, like the 30 year fixed rate mortgage. we need to keep laying down rules of the road that protect homeowners when they are making the biggest purchase of their lives. congress needs to confirm mel watt to be our nation's top housing regulator so that he can protect consumers, and help responsible lenders provide credit. no program or policy will solve all the problems of a multitrillion dollar housing market. it will take time to fully recover. if we work together, we can make the home a source of pride and middle-class security once again. if washington is willing to set aside politics and focus on what really matters, we can rebuild an economy where if you work hard, you can get ahead. thanks, and have a great weekend. >> i'm senator tim scott from south carolina. on the senate energy and national -- natural resources committee, my colleagues and i
are working to unleash the power of america's energy sector. it will create jobs and create more money for your pockets. the president is so out of touch with unemployed americans that he thinks tens of thousands of keystone xl construction jobs are a blitz, not a jobs plan. the new head of the epa said she does not want to talk about jobs writes new job killing regulations that will put tens of thousands of americans out of work. that's not leadership. president obama's failed leadership on energy policy will cost every american family more when you buy food at the grocery store, take a vacation, or turn your air conditioner on this summer. every second your refrigerator runs, the electricity to power it costs more because of the lack of and all of the above energy strategy.
tries tohe government pick winners and losers, billions of taxpayer dollars are wasted. this mindset disproportionately affects lower income americans. consumers a quarter of after-tax income a family is making, $35,000 or less. the price of energy is higher because of the president's failed policies. when it comes to resources, no nation on earth has more options at his disposal than america. natural gas alone supports over 9 million american jobs and contributes more than $1 trillion to u.s. gdp per year. unfortunately, the obama administration has actively blocked and delayed new american energy production, continuing our dependence on dangerous foreign countries for energy. to administration continues block projects such as the keystone xl pipeline, which
would support 40,000 new jobs. there is no disputing the fact that energy production is down on federal lands. when president obama took office in 2009, nearly all of our toshore areas remained open energy production. today, president obama has effectively reimposed that offshore moratorium, blocking access to american oil and natural gas resources, preventing the creation of tens ,f thousands of american jobs and continuing our reliance on foreign oil. according to a study in my own state, south carolina, opening the offshore to energy production has the potential to create over 7500 new jobs, have a statewide economic impact of $2.2 billion annually, and inerate 87.5 million dollars
revenue. we have seen success stories play out across the country. energy production on state and private lands in places such as north dakota and texas have skyrocketed. in those states, energy permits can be approved in just a few .eeks compared to, federal lands, anti-president obama's energy redtape takes over, 300 days to approve permits. the cost of that delay means less job creation, less economic activity, and less american energy. instead of playing politics with energy, we have a plan to jumpstart our economy with it. we want and all of the above energy strategy. a diverse, market-based energy portfolio of nuclear,, solar, and other renewables means more competition and lower prices for consumers. to stopans will work government policies that are driving up energy costs,
preventing businesses from hiring new employees. there is nothing americans cannot do if the innovation and ingenuity of the private sector is allowed to flourish in the open market. opening access to responsible energy production will lower prices, create jobs, grow our economy, decrease dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and lower the deficit by adding much-needed revenue to the treasury. republicans will continue working to get government out of the way, which will unleash the potential of a new american energy economy. to rating jobs, bringing costs down, and keeping more of your hard-earned money -- creating, bringing costs down, and keeping more of your hard-earned money. thank you, and god bless america. communicators"the " with alan mutter and edmund
lee. encore of our presentation of "first ladies," a look back at holly madison. remarks from democratic state senator wendy davis. plusalks about a 10 hour filibuster she led against the texas senate abortion bill in june. >> c-span, created by americans -- america's abel companies. -- cable companies. thatth the announcement "the washington post" has been sold to jeff bezos, we thought we would take this opportunity to look at changes in the newspaper industry and the potential future of the news industry in general. we have two guests joining us this week. we want to introduce you to alan mutter. he is a newspaper